Quick takes – June 14, 2018

Welcome to the first edition of quick takes, a weekly digest of Japan travel news. Aside from the links to the articles, I will also comment on these news, and what might be of interest to travelers like you.
Let’s dive in.
  • Narita Airport terminal 3 is about to have major expansion, tentatively done by 2019. The terminal is for LCC (low cost carriers) like Jetstar and Vanilla Air. And the current setup there had the arrival and departure halls in the same area, which means major mixup of people leaving and arriving. I was there this past February, it’s not very convenient, nor was it easy to navigate. The planned expansion will separate arrival and departures halls. Hopefully this will help the ever increasing amount of travelers riding into Tokyo through LCC flights in the near future.
  • With the recent law coming into effect in Japan restricting Airbnb-like lodging, one would have thought Airbnb would take a heavy blow in this major market. Airbnb has announced today new initiatives to continue their investments while abiding the new law. Among them, hiring local personnel training firm Persona to train hosts, as well as the introduction of Airbnb Plus program, providing verified hosts in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka area are the biggest. The overall strategy aims to make sure hosts are trained and operate lawfully, and start joint ventures with Japanese business to provide for the hosts. That would potentially just make the lodgings becoming small chain hotels under the brand, though it would also allow for more consistent experience overall.
Airbnb offers new services, refunds day before minpaku law kicks in
  • In the Kansai area, Keihan Railway had finally released a new pass for both Keihan and Eizan Railway (under the same management). Eizan Railway is famous for running trains to Kurama Temple and Kibune Shrine in Kyoto, and previously had its own dedicated pass. This is the first time Keihan combine the passes for all the train lines it operates in Osaka and Kyoto area. The pass is for one day and cost 1500 yen, and is now available at all Kansai Tourist Information Center in Kansai International Airport and selected locations in Kyoto and Osaka (see link for the exact locations).
Kyoto-Osaka Sightseeing Pass(Greater KURAMA & KIBUNE area)
So, what do you think? Please leave your comments below, and share this post around. Thanks!